Thursday 22 August 2019

Seduction - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

Get ready for a sweet sweet seduction 
with Gold Satino's new site-specific immersive show, aptly titled, Seduction. Presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, this critically acclaimed theatre collective returns with another intimate offering that allows audiences to unearth the secrets that are in our streets and observe life from the perspectives of people we've never met before, whose stories are as much a mystery to us as they are to themselves.

In Seduction, two women navigate the world, the violence of making performance and the seduction of art, friendship, and how their feminisms are different and yet the same. This show for nine audience members at a time is described as a 'drive-in/drive by performance of excruciating intimacy set in a landscape of bleak urban grandeur', and can easily be considered as a nightmarish dream of contradictions and confirmations. "You will be seduced. No, not really, well maybe," Gold Satino's creative director and Seduction co-writer and director Davina Wright tells me. "A lot of things happen. Most of it is in the back of a car. But there's no participation. The audience is safe to watch, see, experience and dream with us. God that got corny quickly."

The experimental collective was formed in 2011, and in the last eight years they have created a number of award winning site-specific shows such as Suburbia and Dion. In this instance, determining if the location came first or the "story" is almost a tougher answer than that of the chicken and the egg. "Meredith Rogers (co-writer and director) and I have been working on and thinking and talking about this show for a long time. The story came first here, however, the story we had before the locations isn't the story we have now. So in that sense they attack each other, it's a fight to the death until one works with the other. And many good things die in the process. Lots of bad too," Wright explains. "The process is really me making a show with a woman I think is one of the smartest, most knowledgeable and compatible creative people I have ever met / seen / known (that's Meredith). To find someone you really want to make art with is a whirlwind of its own."

At the heart of that art is a desire for audiences to have an awakening to the world around them and to open up to their own thoughts and emotions. "In another life I think I was some sort of motivation speaker but in this, it's not Tom Cruise in Magnolia, it's more... I dunno... silence. Not meditation though," she muses. "You know when you fall in love and you walk down the street smiling and thinking about having sex with someone, and then when you're falling out of love you're crying in your car in the carpark to your house that's not yours anymore. Well this is like that. It is a seduction to look. Meredith says I've got to stop saying seduction but my god I can't. Also, this isn't art about being present, because fuck any self-help shit that tells you how to look at the world or experience your life. But nothing beats art that makes you remember you are alive. And reminds you to sometimes forget who you are and then to remember, and then to free fall back from space."

A highlight of a Gold Satino show is the very considered and thoughtful pace that events unfold, where you feel like time has been standing still as these moments have played out. But 'behind the scenes' of these meticulously timed shows, a very different story takes place. "It's hectic. Cazz (Bainbdridge) normally has her top off behind some bins, Ross (de Winter) is driving stick the wrong way down a one way street, Xavier (O'Shannessy) is running 40km down a dark lane so Claudia (Nugent) isn't left alone with no pants on and Meredith is in her underwear in front of a graveyard. Meanwhile I'm chasing some teenagers with a fake police siren down the road (this is my most heroic moment but you know, I'm curating this for you so I get to do that). It's go go go. There is a lot of laughing and running."

With a number of shows under the Collective's belt, Wright still has plenty of ideas for their next show, and the one after that and the one after that. "There are so many ideas, but everyone can have ideas can't they? Sometimes I think I have more ideas than sense. Like most of them are nonsense. But I can't tell you any in case they're good and someone steals them before I get to make them, like in ten years when I have time and money and I'm not feeling so anxious." Hopefully we won't have to wait that long for them. 


1. If you had to name your child after a vegetable what would it be? 

Then I would choose not to have a child. 
2. Which reality TV show would you most like to appear/compete on?
A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. Throw me back in time baby. Except I would pick that real angsty lesbian that was a bit butch and was always wearing a white shirt with a really loose tie.

3. A movie that sums up my life is a really boring experimental durational film of someone just shitting and pissing and showering and eating and talking shit over and over again for hours and hours and hours. I haven't found it yet but if I do I'll let you know.
UPDATE - Meredith says she's seen this film but she can't remember the name, but it was by the director that got his start with Andy Warhol. She says she saw it at the movies in the 70s and at some point realised the man behind her was wanking (her words not mine) and just when she decided to move she felt his hand (the other one she hopes) on her hair.

4. What's the one thing that happened during a show you were involved with that you wish you could forget? 
I was cast in this really horrific lesbian melodrama in my undergrad at uni. I played this big predatory lesbian who kissed this other woman and the other woman was straight and hated it. I wish I could bleach that from history. There is a lot of film footage of that. I know this because the director filmed every rehearsal and every performance and everything we did for two months. So I want that back. Thanks. DM me for my address.
5. Art is not everything. 


Venue: Secret location in CBD (address provided prior to event)
18 - 29 September | Wed - Sun 7:30pm and 9:3opm
90 minutes 
$39 Full | $27 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

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